RISMEDIA, April 23, 2007-Today Realtors are more than just ‘transaction facilitators.' Today Realtors have to be educated and trusted advisors on all matters home-related. One such area where a Realtor's insight can be invaluable is in helping consumers maximize the use of their oil tank home heating systems. "OILALERT," a new product that aims to do just that, recently launched on the market and is designed to prevent homeowners from their oil tanks unexpectedly running out of oil. The helpful gadget is gaining popularity as a closing gift from Realtors to the surprising number of buyers who aren't signed up for automatic oil delivery.
RISMedia recently sat down with OilAlert creator Richard P. Cicciari of Connecticut to find out more about this interesting new product
RISMedia: What was your motivation for creating OilAlert? What need does the product fulfill?
Richard Cicciari: For many years I was in the oil business and it amazed me how many people would run out of oil. This often resulted in an additional charge for an unscheduled delivery and sometimes an expensive service to their oil burner because of the sludge sucked up into the burner when they ran out of oil. I went searching the marketplace trying to find a gadget that the homeowner could use to let them know when they were running low on oil with enough time for them not to run into those problems. Much to my amazement, nothing could be found. This gave me the idea to come up with Oil Alert.
RISMedia: Please describe the reaction you've had so far from oil companies.
RC: As I suspected, the response from the oil companies has been very positive. They have found, as I did, that OilAlert is not only a valuable tool for the homeowner but also for the oil suppliers, especially the COD oil companies-these are the companies who supply the homeowner ‘on demand.' These homeowners are more susceptible to running out of fuel. OilAlert has been a boon to them.
RISMedia: Specifically, how can OilAlert save the homeowner money?
RC: Homeowners who have purchased OilAlert are now able to depend on it to let them know when they are low on oil, thus eliminating a possibility of running out and unnecessary service calls.
RISMedia: Why is OilAlert such a valuable tool for homeowners, especially in the face of rising energy costs?
RC: Always having OilAlert on the job, allows the homeowner control of their oil purchasing and therefore able to take advantage of lowest price possible. Homeowners that are on automatic delivery are totally dependent on their oil company to supply them with fuel oil. Many homeowners have experienced run outs while on automatic delivery. OilAlert would save them that headache and also the oil companies would benefit by having OilAlert on the job.
RISMedia: When used as a closing gift, how can OilAlert help a real estate agent stand out from his or her competitors?
RC: OilAlert is the gift that keeps on giving. It lasts a lifetime. The Realtor who gives OilAlert as a closing gift will always be remembered.
RISMedia: What are your future plans for the product?
RC: We at OilAlert have already started to expand our product base. We are currently developing a system that security companies can offer their customers. Also on the drawing board are plans for OilAlert 2. This system will alert via e-mail the homeowner and their oil company. In addition we are working on a monitor system for propane gas. This system will hopefully be available in the next two years.
The device is small and lightweight and easily installs to the top of an oil tank. When the oil reaches the quarter tank level the product sends a signal to a light-switch-sized transmitter the homeowner can mount to the kitchen wall, which either blinks or beeps until the oil level is restored above a quarter tank.
For more information or to order the product, visit www.oilalert.com.